Introducing Bluestone: Philip Wiltshire

Philip is our Regional Account Manager for South Central. Since joining Bluestone in December 2022, Philip has established himself within the team, bringing a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Philip has over 20 year’s experience in the commercial finance sector having worked as both a Relationship Manager and Area Manager with Nedbank Business Banking in South Africa. 

“I was attracted to working at Bluestone because of their fresh approach to service and the ease of which they interacted with clients. I am most looking forward to meeting with the clients at businesses and identifying solutions to assist with their future growth plans.


The early days

Having grown up in Southern Africa, Phil spent his younger years growing up in Lesotho where his father worked at a University there. Phil fondly remembers getting together with his mates, exploring the university campus, and horse riding around the area, along with spending his time on the rugby field.

“I’ve always been one of those guys that lived for today. One life lesson I’ve learned growing up is that you have to make the most of today because tomorrow will have its own challenges so take care of today.”

The world of work

Early on in his working life, Phil worked in media. Whilst in Durban South Africa, Phil worked for a small advertising agency. The business was quite small which allowed Phil to take on a lot of varied roles and functions, this would include working on various projects from design work, and pitching ideas and proposals to the bosses. But inevitably, his financial background meant that he was tasked with handling the business’ bookkeeping and financials.

Why Bluestone?

The main driver for Phil joining Bluestone was the way in which the company deals with its customers. Phil’s typical day usually involves a morning briefing call to discuss various customers and opportunities and manage any issues that may arise with deals.

“I enjoy interaction with customers and partners, so being able to put plans together to best support their businesses is always a fulfilling task.” 

Be it initial scoping calls, customer calls, getting appointments booked, or simply discussing how their business is doing is something Phil particularly enjoys because of how it allows him to immerse himself in their reality to be able to come up with the best solutions to their financial opportunities.

If he could meet anyone dead or alive

“I think it’d, probably be a toss-up between Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Hendrix”

You can view Philip’s microsite here.

If you would like Philip to help your business to move forward with a bespoke finance solution, get in touch today with him today. 

Philip.Wiltshire@bluestoneleasing.com

Introducing Bluestone: Matthew Brown

Matthew is our Regional Account Manager for Huddersfield, Bradford, and Halifax. Since joining Bluestone in December 2022, Matt has been building relationships with existing and new customers and partners and focusing on growing new business. 

I really enjoy meeting new businesses and finding out more about them and their needs – I don’t have a background in the finance industry as I worked in the world of Tobacco prior to Bluestone, so learning about my customers and partners is really interesting to me.‘ 

Matt is really looking forward to getting to know his businesses and helping them grow. 

The world of work

Matt began his career working in a bar in one of his favourite stadiums in Sunderland and prior to joining Bluestone, he worked in the Tobacco industry. He is often complimented on his work ethic and tenacity alongside his passion for helping businesses. 

I’m new to the commercial finance sector but I’m really looking forward to taking on the role. I was attracted to Bluestone after being impressed and inspired during the interview process. The idea of helping businesses and customers take things to the next level and being part of that journey excited and motivates me.‘ 

The early days and education 

Matthew grew up in Sunderland playing sport from a young age. When he was younger, his dream was to grow up and become a palaeontologist. His favourite subject at school was biology due to his interest in the way the human body works.  

The most important non-academic lesson I learnt at school was that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’

More about Matthew

At the top of Matthews bucket list is to go bungee jumping or sky diving, something that feels like he is on the edge of something that could be truly amazing or be his last ever experience. His life motto; 

There’s no point in living if you don’t feel alive.

Matthew wants to be remembered for… 

 ‘Being a laugh…hopefully!’ 

You can view Matthew’s microsite here.

If you would like Matthew to help your business to move forward with a bespoke finance solution, get in touch today with him today. 

Matthew.Brown@bluestoneleasing.com

Introducing Bluestone: Leighton Davies

Leighton is our Regional Account Manager for Wales. Since joining Bluestone in December 2022, Leighton has been building relationships across the region with both existing and new customers across all sectors, particularly focusing on growing the hard asset industry. Prior to working at Bluestone, Leighton worked as an independent finance broker dealing in both the hard and soft asset market. His previous roles saw him working for some of the largest automotive groups in the UK dealing with commercial finance for fleets of vehicles.

A typical day for Leighton is reaching out to new clients and partners, focusing on business development across Wales, introducing himself and letting customers know that Bluestone is here to support. 

I really like meeting new businesses and industries and getting to know them – I’m always intrigued about how they work, how they run and what they are looking to do to improve.‘ 

Since joining Bluestone, Leighton has brought enthusiasm, a smile, and a willingness to integrate himself into the company and learn and develop.

The world of work   

Leighton began his career working predominantly in the auto industry, focusing on brands such as Ford, VW and BMW over the years. His very first job was in retail, working at the weekend whilst at college, for a painting and decorating company.  

Previously working as an independent finance broker, I was involved in everything from meeting clients, to drawing up the proposals and quotes for credit, so I was attracted to the company structure at Bluestone in my interview. The experience and support from the team and the values they portray made me feel like it was a good place to be.’ 

The early days and eduction 

Leighton grew up in Cardiff and has early memories of spending time with his grandfather, playing outside and P.E at school. 

‘I liked playing football or riding my bike – I’m ‘old’ now so we didn’t have computer games back then!’  

The most important non-academic lesson Leighton learned at school was ‘don’t be late.’ 

More about Leighton 

In his spare time, Leighton enjoys spending his weekend with his partner, walking their dog on the beach, having a roast dinner and drinking a couple of beers whilst watching Manchester United play – passionate about travelling and sport, seeing Man United in the Champions League Final abroad is at the top of his bucket list.   

Leighton’s life motto; 

If you don’t have discipline, you’ll have regret.

Leighton wants to be remembered for…

 ‘My amazing personality and generosity.’ 

If you would like Leighton to help your business to move forward with a bespoke finance solution, get in touch today with him today. 

Leighton.Davies@bluestoneleasing.com

Case Study: Radnor House Sevenoaks School

Radnor House Sevenoaks is a private co-educational school in Kent that caters to pupils aged 2-18 for Nursery to Sixth Form Education. Radnor is housed in 29 acres of Grade 1 listed property and grounds, and is committed to educating and empowering the young adults of today to thrive in the world of tomorrow.

Radnor House Sevenoaks School

Radnor House Sevenoaks School is very active with its extracurricular sports activities and has hockey, football and cricket as core sports for all pupils. To effectively compete against other schools in the local area, Radnor House Sevenoaks School secured planning permission to build a state of the art FIH approved floodlit hockey pitch , and given ongoing capital expenditure programmes, a financing solution was deemed the most appropriate use of resources.

Alongside the sports pitch, the school was also keen to finance a further coach addition to the fleet used for school runs and sports transport, a company vehicle, and provision of Microsoft Surface devices to all Senior School pupils.

Why they decided to utilise finance

Following acquisition in 2015, Radnor House Sevenoaks School has embarked on a major capital expenditure program totaling over £5m.

Utilising finance to help retain cash on the balance sheet would allow them to see a return on their investment sooner rather than later.

“Because of Bluestone’s consultative approach to financing, we were confident and felt fully informed throughout. We knew that we were working with industry experts that could deliver on the project.
Neil Moulding, Finance & Operations Director, Radnor House School Sevenoaks

The Solution

Bluestone worked closely with the school to understand their project needs and find a finance solution that best suited them.

As finance specialists who cover assets across several sectors, Bluestone were able to finance the school’s sports pitch, purchase a minibus, find a company vehicle and facilitated IT equipment upgrades.

The solutions allowed students to compete and make the most of the new sports pitch, provided them with a means of transport with the new minibus and access to new IT equipment to support their learning.

Ben Howe, Key Account Manager at Bluestone said, “Working with Neil and the team at Radnor House Sevenoaks School has been a pleasure. It has been great to help on multiple projects and see the difference this will help the students, and future students attending the school.”

Interested in finance for your business?

We can help businesses to by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in a loan or asset finance for your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide which, if any, finance solution would be the right choice. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: R H Binks & Sons Ltd

About R H Binks & Sons Ltd

R H Binks & Sons are a quality Wholesale & Retail Family Butchers who have been serving customers in Wakefield since 1920. Whilst they are a traditional style butcher founded on their service and a strong passion for high quality British produce, they are moving with the times to create hand-made products, and innovative ideas to the butchery trade.

Sourcing the majority of meat from established Yorkshire farms, they support regional farmers who share their commitment to welfare and outstanding quality without the use of intensive farming or growth hormones and additives.

Their Need for Finance

R H Binks & Sons Ltd has been successfully running for generations and wanted a new lease of life to align with the creativity and innovation they are bringing to the trade. The shop needed a full re-fit, and they were looking for a way to give the butchers a face-lift without using their existing cash reserves.

“Without the support from Bluestone and our supplier H K Interiors and XL Refrigeration, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have. The interior of our shop is now one we feel proud of and we feel it is another step in supporting our business continuing to grow.”

Jack Binks, R H Binks & Sons Ltd

The Solution

With the support of Bluestone and suppliers, H K Interiors and XL Refrigeration, R H Binks were able to utilise a £120,000 Hire Purchase agreement to finance the fit-out of a new, modern shop internally and externally. The agreement allowed them to benefit from retained capital within the business for further growth and investment whilst making affordable repayments at a fixed cost over time.

Laura Fallah, Regional Account Manager at Bluestone said, “It was great to be able to work on a project local to Bluestone, especially one that supports regional farmers at the same time. The shop looks great and I’m really glad we were able to help R H Binks with their re-fit and support their business.”

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you.

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

The Institute of Comtemporary Music Performance (ICMP), based in London, has been developing and delivering education to students of contemporary music for over 30 years, longer than any other UK school. The key to their philosophy, is the understanding that every student is unique.

The ICMP have always focused on the needs and potential of individual students, ensuring that the education they provide is tailored and personalised, giving them the best chance of success.

The ICMP’s Requirements

As a provider of Higher Education emerging from the Pandemic and working within the tight constraint of the regulatory framework, ICMP used finance to ensure that key financial performance metrics were always comfortably managed at appropriate levels.

“Bluestone have been a supportive and communicative company, taking the time to understand our needs. That approach has enabled us to achieve the amazing results that we have!”

Pete Whittard,  Business Development Director, ICMP

The Solution

In 2019, when the project was initiated, ICMP’s growth trajectory clearly indicated the need for additional specialist space to accommodate recording studios and performance.

The solution was a 14,000 square-foot derelict public house in Queens Park that has undertaken a three phase renovation. Phase one delivered three state-of-the-art recording and post-production studios (featuring Dolby Atmos technology). Phase two delivered a 100+ capacity fully specified performance venue refectory with expanded teaching spaces and technology labs. Phase three completed with six further teaching spaces and professional services offices under a new roof and a rebuilt second floor.

Louse Harris from Bluestone said, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Pete and the team at the ICMP. We were delighted to support them with financing their projects, allowing them to continue with their exciting growth plans. We look forward to supporting them in years to come.”

Interested in finding out how Bluestone can support your business?

We can help businesses by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in speaking to someone who can talk through how to best support your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your individual circumstances and work with you to decide which finance solution would be the right choice for you. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Bluestone Christmas 2022

Bluestone is delighted to be supporting two charities this Christmas, Save the Children and Pulse1 Mission Christmas, Cash for Kids.

How we’re supporting Save the Children

We will be taking part in Save the Children’s 2022 Christmas Jumper Day to help raise money for children in the UK and across the world. Christmas Jumper Day falls on the 8th of December this year, so we’ll be bringing out our cosy Christmas knits and making the most of the opportunity to enjoy the festivity of the season whilst supporting a charity that helps provide for children and families that needs support this Christmas season.

Pulse1’s Mission Christmas Cash for Kids

This year, we have also decided to take part in Pulse1’s Mission Christmas Cash for Kids appeal to make a difference to children across West Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales, Harrogate, and York.

Mission Christmas has set out to help Santa reach children living in poverty this year with Christmas gifts to ensure as many children as can enjoy the holidays by providing gifts for children facing difficult times with a gift to wake up to and open on Christmas Day.

How you can help

Other charities we’re proud to support

  • Mind
  • Guide Dogs
  • Wakefield Hospice
  • MS Society
  • The Children’s Hospital Charity
  • Macmillan Cancer Support

Case Study: A VAT Loan for Grafik

Grafik develop sustainable, functional and commercially viable projects, working with a range of clients in the residential, commercial, leisure, mixed use and public sectors. Formed in 2001, they work strategically across the UK from their offices in Essex.

Their range of architectural services include; conceptual design, feasibility studies, master planning & urban design, full planning services, working drawing package and value engineering as well as having broad knowledge and experience of softwares including AutoCAD, Revit, Sketchup, Photoshop and InDesign.

Grafik’s need for finance

Grafik were looking for a way to pay their VAT over a period of time so they could retain capital within the business to invest in their continued growth. A VAT loan would ensure that HMRC were paid in full and on time whilst preventing them from parting with a large chunk of cash upfront.

“It was great working with Bluestone to fund our VAT bill – they have been helpful and supportive to our requirements. The process has been easy and it’s one less thing for the business to have to worry about.”

Miranda Jules, Admin Director, Grafik

The Solution

After being introduced to finance specialists at Bluestone Leasing, Grafik made the decision to utilise finance in the form of VAT loan over a three month period. The loan will allow them to spread the cost of their repayments over time and retain cashflow in the business for use in other areas.

Kate Walker, Regional Account Manager at Bluestone, said, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Miranda and the team at Grafik. We were delighted to support them with a VAT loan to spread the cost of their repayments and continue with their growth plans.”

Interested in finance for your business?

We can help businesses to by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in a loan or asset finance for your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide which, if any, finance solution would be the right choice. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Case Study: A New Headquarters for West Barn Co.

Kim, a make-up artist to celebrity clients with over 10 years of experience, founded West Barn Co. with her mother, Donna, in 2017.  At the time, there was a trend for either tattooed eyebrows or pencil drawn eyebrows and Kim wanted a different look and feel to what was the norm. As such, ‘Soap Brows’ was born.

Using cosmetically formulated soap which is safe to leave on the face, Soap Brows creates fluffy, prominent eyebrows. The product took social media by storm and demand sky rocketed. Today, the company focuses on creating high quality brow and skin prep products including cleansers, serums, prep mists and toners along with makeup tool kits.

West Barn Co.’s Continued Growth

The company signed a building lease for WBCo. headquarters in December 2018, but the business has continued to grow at an incredible pace. West Barn Co. now employ over 25 staff members in their Durham HQ and ships to more than 60 countries. This growth led to a need for a bigger and better headquarters in 2021.

Louise and the team at Bluestone Leasing were really great. They were thorough, efficient and super lovely to work with. The options they presented us with meant we were able to further invest into New Product Development much sooner. When speed to market is imperative, this was a great step in our business. Thanks again Louise.”

Kimberley Cattin, CEO, West Barn Co.

The Solution

After being introduced to commercial finance specialists for the interiors sector, Bluestone Leasing, by their team of fitout specialists, West Barn Co. decided to finance their fitout over 5 years to run in tandem with their 10-year building lease which has a 5-year break clause.

Louise Harris, Key Account Manager at Bluestone said, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Kim and the team at West Barn Co. We were delighted to support them with their large-scale fit-out project, allowing them to continue with their exciting growth plans and we look forward to supporting WBC in years to come.”

Interested in finance for your business?

We can help businesses to by obtaining the best funding options and facilities, quickly and efficiently, whilst ensuring your short-term goals and long-term ambitions are considered in your financial strategy. 

If you are interested in a loan or asset finance for your business, get in touch with us today. We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide which, if any, finance solution would be the right choice. 

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.

Self-Assessment Loans for your Business: January Deadline Approaching

With the 31st January 2023 self-assessment deadline approaching, we have revisited our blog on the key benefits and features of a self-assessment loan and how this can support your business.

In January and July each year, the Self Assessment fee can be a significant outgoing for sole traders and partnerships. This often has a negative impact on cashflow for many businesses, inhibiting their operation and delaying their growth.

What many do not realise, however, is that this doesn’t have to be the case.

With a Self Assessment loan, you could spread the cost of your tax bill over time enabling you to retain capital in your business while making manageable monthly repayments in line with your budget. Read on to discover more about Self Assessment loans.  

What is Self Assessment?

Self Assessment is the process by which you advise HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of your income, gains and relevant expenses for a tax year. You currently do this by completing a tax return, sending it to HMRC and calculating your own tax liability (the online return will do the calculation for you automatically).

You must send a tax return if, in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April), you were:

  • self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000 (before taking off anything you can claim tax relief on).
  • a partner in a business partnership.

The government’s online system will calculate how much tax you owe based on your earnings, and this amount needs to be paid by a specific deadline to avoid additional penalties.

What are the payment dates for tax returns?

A UK tax year runs from 6th April to the following 5th April. For example, if we are talking about the tax year 2022/2023, it started on 6th April 2022 and will finish on 5th April 2023. Generally, the payments need to be made in January and July each year.

  • 31st January (during the tax year): The first payment on account for the tax year ending the following 5 April is due, e.g., the first payment on account for the 2022/23 tax year is due by 31st January 2023.
  • 31st July: The second payment on account for the tax year ending the previous 5 April is due, e.g., the second payment on account for the 2022/23 tax year is due by 31 July 2023.

NOTE: Depending on your circumstances, there may be other relevant dates and deadlines during the year to be aware of. Visit the government website for more information.

What is a Self Assessment loan?

A Self Assessment loan provides the cash you need to pay your fee by the relevant deadline. You then make repayments on the loan over 6, 10, or 12 months so you can align the repayments with income and manage finances more effectively. The capital retained can be used to operate and/or invest in the business. 

Income and other outgoings are normally budgeted monthly so spreading the cost of self-assessment can help cashflow, align the outgoing with income and enable you to manage finances more effectively. The capital that you retain can be used to grow the business.

For LLP members or Partners who are taxed individually on their share of the firm’s profits, a self-assessment loan can be taken out by the firm to spread the cost, aligning it with other business outgoings and income.

How do Self Assessment loans work?

  1. Your partners complete their self-assessment and you collate the combined amount due to HMRC.
  2. You can then submit that amount to us and we will source the most competitive finance option for you to allow you to spread the cost.
  3. We’ll secure an agreement to finance from one of our specialist funders who will pay HMRC direct. 
  4. The payments will then be made by the firm to the funder over time to settle the balance. 
  5. The capital retained within the business can then be utilised for other means to help grow the business.
  6. The funder will need an HMRC statement confirming all outstanding tax liabilities at least 7 days prior to the due date to ensure payments are made to HMRC on time.

In some cases, even if you have already made the payment to HMRC, we may be able to secure finance for you retrospectively if you contact us within 14 days of making the payment.

A financial illustration

Based on a £50k Self Assessment Loan (this is for illustrative purposes only, as individual circumstances differ).

  • 12 monthly repayments of £4,492.20pcm = Total repayable: £53,906.40
  • 6 monthly repayments of £8,760.43pcm = Total repayable: £52,562.58

Interested in a Self Assessment loan for your business?

If you are interested in spreading the cost of your next self-assessment tax bill over time to retain capital and enable you to manage your budget more effectively, get in touch with us today.

We will assess your business’ individual circumstances and work with you to decide if a Self Assessment loan or another finance solution would be the right choice.

Complete the form below to send us an enquiry.